Arcadia and Debenhams: retailers count the cost of lockdown
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Tens of thousands of retail and hospitality businesses in England can resume trading when lockdown ends on Wednesday — but many are already at breaking point.
Arcadia has become the biggest retail casualty of the pandemic, following high-profile problems at Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Debenhams and Moss Bros.
The timing of the lockdown, closing non-essential stores, pubs and restaurants in the run-up to Christmas, has been a heavy blow for businesses that generate the majority of their profits at this time of year.
This week’s FT Business Clinic focused on how business leaders must now adapt to operate within the confines of new tiered restrictions, the impact these will have on trading, and whether the level of compensation is enough for businesses to survive the winter.
Presenter Claer Barrett spoke to Andy Bounds, the FT’s Enterprise Editor, about the challenges that lie ahead.
Leaders in the hospitality industry have warned that tens of thousands of pubs are at risk of closure, predicting that new curbs will result in billions of pounds of lost pub and restaurant sales in December.
From Friday, pubs in Wales will no longer be permitted to sell alcohol or open after 6pm in an attempt to control infections following the end of the “firebreak lockdown” in November.
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